Hoppin’ to the top with 8-1 standings—Prairie du Chien Legion team off to a strong start

Varsity Legion
According to Coach Renner, this year’s American Legion team is the one to beat. Pictured, from left, are (front) Taylor Elliot, Ronnie Hebel, (middle) Coach Steve Sagedahl, Ryan Garrity, Tanner Heisel, Brogan Potter, Payton Hall, Sam Neisius, Brett Trautsch, Coach Joseph Renner, (back) Mike Steiner, Chad Mara, Bryan McNett, Casey Hogenson and Tyler Nack. (Submitted photo)


By Caitlin Bittner


It’s official, summer has begun, and with it comes the nonstop baseball action of the Prairie du Chien Grasshoppers.


As many locals know, the Grasshoppers are part of the American Legion baseball league, which has experienced a great deal of turmoil in regard to coaching turnover in the last few years. That fact is something this year’s coach, Joseph Renner, hopes to change.


“I’m originally from Prairie. I came back when I got a job at 3M,” explained Renner, whose excitement for the season cannot be contained. “We’re 8-1 on the season so far. I truly believe we have a shot at the state title.”


Although some may feel that comes off as an arrogant sentiment, Renner only makes the statement because of the talent level of his players.


“[So far] we’re one of the better teams I’ve seen all season,” said Renner, his voice radiating with pride. With Renner’s years of experience, including five years of play and three years of coaching in Onalaska, it’s not hard to believe him.


“I never go in wanting to lose. We want to win. It’s a tough regional, but this would be the team to do it, to be the state champs,” Renner said.


Renner hopes that the one thing he has brought to his team so far is a new style of play with more stealing and more initiative on the part of the players. “We’re going to make them beat us.”


“Our swagger shows on the field because we walk the thin line between cocky and confident. It’s something I’ve never seen before,” said Renner.


Looking for your next chance to support the team? Head on down to St. Feriole Island Ballpark this Friday, June 27, to see both the Junior Varsity (5 p.m.) and the Varsity (7 p.m.) American Legion teams in action against Lancaster. 


A fish fry fundraiser is slated to take place during the games to satisfy hungry fans on all sides. Proceeds from the event will go to the American Legion.


Additionally, the Varsity team will also be playing at St. Feriole Island Ballpark on Sunday, June 29, at 4 p.m., which will round out the home games in June.

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